Faculties‎ > ‎

Creative and Performing Arts - Visual Arts, Music and Drama

Visual Arts
At James Ruse Agricultural High School, students are provided with exciting opportunities to gain enjoyment from making and appreciating art. Visual Arts is a mandatory subject in Years 7-8, after which students may choose to study elective Visual Arts in Years 9-10, the Preliminary Visual Arts course in Year 11 and Higher School Certificate Visual Arts in Year 12.

Students are taught technical skills in a broad range of two and three dimensional media including drawing, painting, printmaking, digital media, photography, ceramics and sculpture and are then encouraged to develop this expertise to a high degree of refinement. Because artmaking can be inspired by understanding the practice of other artists from different times and places, historical and critical study of interesting and unusual artworks is a feature of the Visual Arts courses in all years. Students participate in excursions to art galleries and a variety of other locations to engage with original works of art and stimulate the creation of expressive artworks.

Structured class activities which foster student confidence are followed by more self directed learning when students can pursue their own interests in both artmaking and art history. All the Visual Arts courses develop students' visual literacy, creative problem solving, lateral thinking and personal expression.
James Ruse has many imaginative and talented visual arts students. The tradition of excellent achievement in the Higher School Certificate Examination is exemplified by the annual nomination of James Ruse student artworks for the prestigious Artexpress exhibition.

To see samples of outstanding student art work, click the desired school year below.

Music is an academic subject in which JRAHS students demonstrate excellent School Certificate and Higher School Certificate results with our students consistently nominated for Encore in both performance and composition. The school's teaching staff ensure outstanding academic achievement through to the HSC Extension Course level, including first and second place in the NSW HSC.

The department offers a wide range of musical experiences. Academically, Music is offered at all levels:
  • The mandatory course is studied by students in Years 7-8
  • Elective Music is available to students in Years 9-10
  • Music 2 and Music Extension are available for HSC study
  • Accelerated studies through the Pathways Program is available to the most gifted and talented students
Music Courses and Curricula
Music - Years 7-8
Students study the Board of Studies' mandatory music course. Through a variety of context areas including notation, rock music, instruments, and music in film and advertising, students gain skills in performing, composing and listening. The music computers are utilised throughout the course with students becoming familiar with software packages such as Sibelius.

Elective Music - Years 9-10
Students study the Board of Studies' additional music course and expand on the areas covered in Years 7 and 8. Through the various contexts studied, students refine their ability to listen, perform and compose. Topics covered include:
  • Western classical music
  • Music theatre
  • Music for solo instruments and ensembles
  • Jazz
  • Australian music
  • Asian music
  • Other topics chosen by the individual student
Students have regular access to the music computers and become familiar with various software packages including Sibelius.
HSC - Music 2 (Years 11-12)
All students study Music 1600-1900 in Year 11 and Music of last 25 years in Year 12. An additional topic is also chosen by the student in each year of the course. The students continue to develop an understanding of the musical concepts (duration, pitch, dynamics and expressive techniques, tone colour, texture, and structure) through experiences in performance, composition, musicology and aural. All students will perform at least one piece and compose one original work (maximum duration of 2 minutes) for the HSC examination and an elective performance, composition, or musicology itme is also chosen by the student.

HSC - Music Extension (Year 12)
Music Extension is only available to students studying the Music 2 course and provides an opportunity for the student to specialise in performance, composition, or musicology.

Extra-Curricular Music
Information about our extensive programmes is available in the Extra-Curricular section of this website. Please use the link at the top of the page in the dark green navigation bar
James Ruse has an exciting and high achieving Drama Department that caters for and reflects the gifted and talented needs of our students.

Exciting programs are implemented into the Junior Drama program including playbuilding, film, maskwork, mime, intercultural works and Theatres of Asia. Our showcase evenings are a hit with many friends and family in attendance to see our professionally run events.
The subject also involves excursions to see current and topical plays, typically including an Opera House backstage tour as well as to the State Drama Festival to see our students perform.